Measuring our impact
Collecting data from such remote areas as we are working in is both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge could be a muddy road during rainy season or local developments politically or social. The opportunity is that our network of extensionists know the villages in which they are working very well. When they go to conduct a training, they know every farmer, their challenges and aspirations. This helps us to constantly improve data collection conducted by them directly at farm level.
Reaching out to rural communities also gives us the perfect surrounding to test new technologies and tools. In Uganda when a trainer visits a farm, she pulls out her smartphone and has access to all M&E data of that farmer. What sessions did this farmer attend? What practices has s/he adopted? How does s/he compare to other farmers in the project? New data is entered directly on the farm, feeding into a monitoring database that helps every layer of the team understand where the project is standing and how it can be further improved.
Such new data collection and administration technologies like Impact Atlas or SurveyCTO have helped Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung a great deal to improve its effectiveness. Annual surveys are carried out with farmers, farmer organizations are visited regularly, each training is recorded with attendance data. All of that is done, not just to inform our donors on whether we achieve the set objectives. At least as important is to provide relevant, data-driven reports to every staff member to facilitate learning and create accountability.
Every project region runs an M&E system fitted to its needs and specific projects to provide exactly the information needed. On top of that, data is aggregated on a global level for 15 key performance indicators. This allows HRNS to steer its operations effectively for the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods in coffee landscapes.
Independent evaluations confirm the success of our interventions, while also helping us to further improve our work. An evaluation from 2018 has for example confirmed that
- 93% of all project farmers in Brazil and Trifinio say that their lives have improved due to HRNS’ work
- The project significantly contributed to improved yields, improved coffee quality and higher incomes forall farmers
- For every USD spend in the project, around three USD as additional income for farmers was created